Friday, March 26, 2010

Drink Well, Do Good - 2010 Tour

Time for a quick departure from the world of beer to talk about some wine.  South African wine to be precise!  I've always known South Africa had good wineries and produced some fantastic wines but I don't think I've ever tried any before.  This past Monday I went to the International Society of Africans in Wine (ISAW) kick-off tasting for their 2010 Drink Well, Do Good tour.  Thanks to Jay for finding out about this event and securing us some invites!  ISAW's mission boils down to "reducing poverty in Africa through the business of wine" and I can't see anything wrong with that! 


Of course, in order to promote their mission, one critical ingredient is required... good wine.  Stephen Satterfield, co-founder of ISAW, was on hand to show off four of the wines represented by his organization.  We started off with a M'Hudi 2008 Sauvignon Blanc, a slightly fruity refreshing white wine from a black-owned winery in South Africa.  Certainly an impressive way to start off the night and open my eyes and taste buds to a new region of wine.  I went out of order next and followed up the white with the only red at the offering, a Seven Sisters 2008 Pinotage-Shiraz blend that I found to be fantastic.  Earthy, spicy, a little fruity with hints of butter, and even smoky, a delicious blend.  Syrahs tend to be my favorite varietal, so I was hoping I'd like this one and I certainly did.  I would absolutely look for this one in the stores and add it to the wine cellar at home.  After that I tried the Seven Sisters 2007 Sauvignon Blanc and although it was good I felt it didn't quite measure up to the same style from M'Hudi that I started with. Lastly was a wine I was excited about, the Seven Sisters 2009 Bukettraube, which is a grape not native to South Africa, but now nearly exclusively grown there.  This white wine was quite sweet and fruity, hints of pear for sure and other fruits come out as well.  It's not quite dessert-wine sweet, a little better balanced than that.  Intriguing would be the word I'd use to describe it.  All in all I was very impressed with the wine lineup.  Mission accomplished in using good wines to promote a good cause.


After learning more about the cause, and getting at least a second round of wine tasting in, it was time to depart.  And if you ever want to know how you know you're in New Orleans, it's when the president of the Museum (the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in this case) hosting the wine tasting hands you a plastic 'go cup' so you can take the last bit of wine with you.  Love it. 

The official Drink Well, Do Good tour kicks off next weekend in New Orleans, check it out if you can, it's certainly all about good wine and a good cause!